17 November 2009
Teaching What I Want to Learn
Way back two months ago I taught a workshop at Zea Mays Printmaking that we named "Experiments In Woodblock Printing." It was a short two-day workshop, way too short to create an edition of multi-block prints, so I decided to focus on printing techniques. I asked participants to bring a very simple design or two designs that could interact because we were only going to carve two blocks. We spent only the first 4 or 5 hours on carving. The rest of the workshop was about printing, and each participant worked with two carved blocks plus an uncarved block.
I didn't file a report about this workshop as I usually do because I didn't take any photos, but I recently got some pictures that the Zea Mays staff took, so here are some for you to see.
I demonstrated five or six basic techniques at a time, and did three series of demos during the weekend.
I wanted to share all the ways that an uncarved block can be used -- to make a solid background, to create bokashi blends, to add texture across the print, to use a stencil
In this photo you can see the two simple blocks I had carved to demonstrate with
Demonstrating a simple bokashi
I suggested that participants start by working with just one color until they began to get the feel for moku hanga
Trying out some moku hanga "wiping"
It worked! I was winging it in these demos, which I wanted to do so that participants would feel free to wing it too.
Franklin of Artblog.net posted some of his prints from the workshop on his blog
Another reason I'm posting about this workshop now is because this latest print I'm working on takes a similar tack as the workshop in that unlike many of the prints I've done in the past that relied heavily on detailed carving, Vast Unpeopled Lands uses only four blocks. Most of the heavy lifting has been accomplished through the process of printing (25 impressions and counting).
I learned a lot and loosened up too at this last Zea Mays workshop. Thanks to all the participants who experimented with me. It was a much more playful workshop than usual and I enjoyed watching your prints develop and change.